Humanitarian Disarmament in DR Congo
DR Congo (DRC) is heavily contaminated with mine and unexploded ordnance ( UXO ) as a result of years of internal conflict and conflicts involving neighbouring states, militias, and rebel groups. UXO contamination is comparatively greater than the mine threat as confirmed through NPA’s operations in 2012 and the National Landmine Contamination Survey (NLCS) released in 2014.
MBT : state party; clearance deadline: 1 January 2015.
CCM : signed, not ratified.
NPA established the NPA Humanitarian Disarmament Programme DRC in 2011. Operations began in February 2012. Though contamination is predominantly found in the east, north, and southern parts of the country, NPA began its operations in the west of the country and has systematically cleared province by province moving eastward. In fact, NPA has surveyed and cleared the province of Bas Congo and Bandundu, and Bas Congo was declared free of landmines in March 2013, as the first mine free province in DRC.
DRC’s country size and poor infrastructure has to some extent hindered coordination, data collection, and reporting. However, the introduction of NPAs systematic community clearance approach inspired the country wide NLCS, which has allowed for a greater overview of the remaining contamination in DRC.
In addition to operations, NPA is also providing capacity development support to the Centre Congolais de la Lutte Antimines (CCLAM), which is the national authority for mine action.
In March 2013, NPA became the first organization to declare a province in the DRC mine-free.
NPAs programme in DRC was almost exclusively started up by NPAs national staff from Angola.
NPA is currently in the process of surveying ammunition storage facilities sin DRC in order to provide a recommendation to authorities on which facilities are at high risk for unplanned explosion.
The “NPA method” for survey is being used by both national and international operators in the DRC.